Featured Food: Spinach, fill up on vitamin K for bone health

   

Everybody knows about that leafy green spinach, the one that Popeye ate by the canfull. But what’s so great about it? we’re always hearing to eat spinach! This vegetable is one of the elite super foods and with good reason. It is packed with nutrients and flavonoid. Calorie for calorie it provides more nutrients than any other food.

     Spinach has an exceeding number of vitamin K. Just one cup of spinach alone provides 200% of the daily requirement. Think that’s good, one cup of boiled spinach (which is six times that of raw) is over 1000% of daily requirements! That’s insane, especially since vitamin K is vital to bone health. K1 prevents the breakdown of bones, by preventing excessive activation of osteoclasts. K1 transforms to K2 which turns into osteocalcin, which anchor calcium to the inside of bones. Spinach is also a great source for vitamin A and C, both of which are great antioxidants that reduce free radical levels. One is water-soluble and the other fat-soluble, so that together they prevent cholesterol from being oxidized. They also prevent inflammation, especially for those suffering asthma, osteoarthritis, and rheumatoid arthritis. One cup of boiled spinach provides 294.8% vitamin A and 29.4% vitamin C requirements. Others to notice are folate, that is essential for blood health, and magnesium, which regulates blood pressure and prevent heart disease. Cook it and get all the advantages of iron (hemoglobin, energy production, and metabolism).

     Spinach has 13 known flavonoid compounds. These are great antioxidants and anti-cancer agents. One study showed that increase spinach slowed down cell division in stomach cancer cells. Journal Nutrition printed an article that carotenoid in spinach fights prostate cancer by invoking the cells to self-destruct , but in the intestines they are converted to compounds that put the cancer cells in a state of stasis. Another study showed that women who consumed a diet high in kaempferol (onions, tea, and blueberries as well) reduced the risk of ovarian cancer by 40%. Don’t forget about the brain and all the benefits from spinach! Studies in elderly have shown that eating 3 servings a day could reduce decline in aging by 40% (5 years). Animal studies are promising too, spinach can protect the brain from oxidative stress and could reduce effects of age-related declines in brain function. What great things come from this leafy green, so stock up and chow down.

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